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Mauricio Pochettino hails Tottenham's psychological strength needed to compete with Real Madrid

He believes his side finally feel able to compete against Europe's top sides

Jack Pitt-Brooke
Santiago Bernabeu
Tuesday 17 October 2017 23:17 BST
Pochettino was delighted with the resolve shown by his side
Pochettino was delighted with the resolve shown by his side (Getty)

Mauricio Pochettino said that his Tottenham Hotspur team did something they had never done before in their 1-1 draw at Real Madrid on Tuesday night.

Spurs earned a crucial point at the home of the back-to-back European champions in what Pochettino had built up to be a crucial test of his young team’s development.

The fact that Spurs held their own against Real Madrid, and had two second-half chances to win the game, was taken by Pochettino to be proof that they can compete away against the best teams in the world. For that reason, he was delighted with the evening at the Santiago Bernabeu, and felt a crucial final step had been taken.

“This was the greatest challenge to compete and we’ve done it, and against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu,” Pochettino said. “It is something we were missing, this feeling to compete at the highest level. We are a team under construction but we have reinforced our ideas.

“It was a great chance to prove we can compete. There are many components. On psychological level many things, against a team accustomed to playing at this level.”

While the point puts Spurs in a very strong position in Group H, six points ahead of Borussia Dortmund, Pochettino said that the high level performance was ultimately even more important.

“The result is less important,” he admitted. “The fact we competed makes me most happy.”

Last year Spurs went out of the group stage, despite being in an easier group than this, but Pochettino took pride from their obvious improvement this year.

“The point puts us in a very good position to go through,” he said. “We are building a stadium and the team is under construction too. It is important to reinforce the belief we can compete. Last year it was sad we did not compete in the Champions League. This year is better, we have progressed and we are growing.”

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